Toxic substances in concentrations exceeding government safety standards have been detected in the ground at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo for the first time.
The Tokyo metropolitan government, operator of the market in Chuo Ward, disclosed March 7 that the finding had been made in a 2013 survey.
Traces of arsenic at a depth of 90 centimeters below the surface measured 0.024 milligram per liter of water, which is 2.4 times higher than the environmental standard.
Fluoride was also detected, and measured 1.3 milligrams per liter of water, or 1.6 times higher than the environmental standard of 0.8 milligram.
“As the soil is covered with asphalt, there are no harmful influences on human health,” an official of the metropolitan government explained.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters March 7, “Given that the market is still operating, we need to show the public that their safety is assured.”
The Tsukiji market, a popular destination for foreign visitors, was due to close last November with the opening of a new site in Toyosu, Koto Ward. Toxic substances have also been found in soil at the replacement site, which was formerly occupied by a Tokyo Gas. Co. factory.
The survey was conducted when a bridge was built to connect the southern edge of the market with the opposite side of the Sumidagawa river, according to the metropolitan government.
• Original article online at http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703080046.html